I call it the ‘Barcelona rookie mistake’ and it happened to a friend of mine.
After a magnificent morning in the hills he had planned a pre-lunch proposal to his girlfriend on the iconic mosaic benches at Park Guell.
They were told to come back at 7:00 pm.
I’m not saying you’ll have to endure this type of wait agony but still – there’s no sense paying full price and sunburning your way through epic lines in the summer sun.
So how do you skip the lines and get a 20% discount on virtually everything?
The Barcelona City Pass.
Barcelona City Pass Info
What we’re talking about here is a super convenient digital discount card. It allows you to plan the holiday in minutes from the comfort of home including:
- Skip the line entry at Sagrada Familia + Park Guell.
- Airport transport with Aerobus (round trip ticket) or the Girona Airport bus (a €17.00 value).
- A 1 or 2 day pass for the Bus Turistic.
You also get the mother lode of attraction discount passes giving you 20% off things like:
- Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, the Camp Nou Experience, and the Picasso Museum.
- Guided tours, flamenco shows, many of the city’s best museums, food.
- Nightclubs, shopping, the Dali Figueres tour, and other excursions.
- Your return ticket to Girona.
- Much more.
Is the Barcelona City Pass Worth it?
If you’re looking to dust off a big portion of Barcelona’s top things to do with as little stress as possible, yes.
Here’s a few reasons:
You Save Money.
It’s the reason you looked for a discount card in the first place, right?
The 20% discounts you’ll get on subsequent attractions is the highest discount percentage available on the market for any of the major attractions unless your name is Messi or Penelope Cruz.
The 4 tickets included in the pass (Sagrada, Park Güell, the Bus Turistic, and Aerobus) cost €64.20 (1 day Bus Turistic) or €73.20 (2 day Bus Turistic).
If you use the pass without taking advantage of the discounts you lose €12.00.
If we decide to use the pass for just 3 items like Casa Batllo, Camp Nou, and La Pedrera using the 20% discount we end up saving €14.60 and from then on out we’re in the black!
If we continue by getting an Hola BCN transport card, Poble Espanyol, a flamenco show, an amusement park pass, or anything else on the long list of discounts it starts to really add up.
You Won’t Wait in Lines.
Even if you’re just breaking even or perhaps losing a couple measly euros you may want to ask yourself how much your time is worth.
In summer attraction entrances can have lines lasting hours, and nobody wants that.
With the Barcelona City Pass you use your discount voucher to book all your attraction tickets online in advance, skip the lines, and enjoy your visit hassle free.
If your time is (conservatively) worth €20.00 an hour you’re way into savings.
There’s Nothing to Pick Up.
Unlike other Barcelona discount cards you’ll benefit from the City Pass being all digital.
That way you won’t have to worry about picking anything up during rigid office hours, printing out tickets, or even losing them.
Just show the tickets on your phone: easy as.
How to Buy Your Barcelona City Pass
You’ll get this Barcelona tourist pass via Catalonian institution TicketBar.
There are 3 City Pass options depending on which Sagrada Familia ticket you opt for and how any days of Bus Turistic access you choose.
Update (05/03/2019): Due to the popularity of the pass in high season the City Pass + Sagrada Familia general admission tickets are sold out for the dates of April 17th-20th 2019.
If you’re visiting during the Easter period it’s essential to book ASAP as the others (guided tour and tower tour) will be following suit. I will keep the article updated as info comes in.
Sagrada Familia General Entrance
Here you get basic entrance to explore on your own. While there isn’t a lot of signage explaining things this is great for those wanting to save money or just soak it up with no distractions.
The general entrance City Pass also includes an audio guide app to help you explore and learn as much as possible about the world’s most beautiful church: a €7.00 value free.
/!\ ATTENTION /!\ Due to high demand over the Easter break it’s possible that this City Pass option will be sold out for many of the dates – if this is the case you’ll automatically be presented with an additional option for Sagrada visit + physical audio guide.
This option costs €10.00 more so be careful with the final price!
- 1 day Bus Touristic access: €76.50 for adults, €37.50 for children (4 to 10)
- 2 day Bus Touristic access: €86.00 for adults, €42.00 for children (4 to 10)
Sagrada Familia + English Guided Tour
This ticket includes a 90 minute guided tour with an entertaining and experienced guide in English. You’ll learn all there is to know about the world’s coolest church and have some laughs at the same time.
- 1 day Bus Touristic access: €91.00 for adults, €37.50 for children (4 to 10)
- 2 day Bus Touristic access: €100.00 for adults, €42.00 for children (4 to 10)
With Sagrada Familia Towers + Audio Guide
When you buy this Barcelona City Pass you get access to one of the church’s towers for some pretty cool panoramic views. I recommend the Passion Tower as it’s about 60 feet taller.
- 1 day Bus Touristic access: €96.50 for adults, €37.50 for children (4 to 10)
- 2 day Bus Touristic access: €106.00 for adults, €42.00 for children (4 to 10)
Why City Pass?
The Barcelona City Pass allows you to have your entire holiday booked with a few mouse clicks. It’s the only one that lets you do this – the rest involve lining up.
To repeat, you get:
- One of the world’s most spectacular interpretations of Gothic architecture at Sagrada Familia.
- Perhaps the greatest urban park in the world, the fairy tale-like Park Guell.
- A two-way ticket on the city’s most efficient airport transport Aerobus (with wifi 😉).
- A 1 or 2 day pass on the time saving Bus Touristic giving access to 87 sights on 44 stops.
- 20% discounts on virtually every other sight or activity you’ll do in Barcelona.
NOTE: the 20% discount vouchers can even be applied to already discounted children’s tickets.
It’s also really easy – your attraction pass will arrive via email and all you have to do is print out or download the tickets to your smartphone.
City Pass vs. Barcelona Card
If you’ve read about City Pass Barcelona’s sister card the Barcelona Card you’ll know that those discounts are only applied at ticket windows – no line jumping possible here.
With this Barcelona discount card you’ll be able to apply the discount to tickets bought online from the comfort of home and skip the lines later. No other card gives you this option.
The Barcelona Card also differs in that it places a lot of its value in transport around the city. Unless you’ve got a hostel or holiday apartment a bit far out of the city or are planning on squeezing in a ton of attractions in a short time the transport isn’t mandatory.
VALIDITY AND DURATION
The Barcelona City Pass is valid from the moment of purchase until 5 days after your arrival in Barcelona (arrival date must be specified while purchasing).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be forced to visit all the attractions during this time, it only means that the 20% discount code will be activated during this period. You can schedule the visits for whatever date you want.
CAREFUL: some of you have noticed that if you try and get this Barcelona discount card today you won’t be able to select the next two days as an arrival date: this is because TicketBar needs time to organise the visits to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
On the fly you’ll be able to lie about your arrival date yet request the visits of these two attractions according to the available days in the calendar. All tickets arrive by email within 24 hours.
Also remember that the Aerobus tickets are open tickets and so are not subject to the validity periods above. You’ll be able to take it whenever you want.
How to Use the Barcelona City Pass
You can buy and get your City Pass up and running using the following steps:
- Enter TicketBar’s City Pass page and select which ticket you’d like.
- Indicate your arrival date and arrival airport (El Prat or Girona).
- Choose the # of tourist passes you want and the number of Bus Turistic days needed.
- Select your time to visit Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.
- Check your email for your purchase receipt.
- Within 24 hours you’ll get a second email with all the attraction tickets and airport transfer.
- Here you receive your 20% discount codes with links to websites to redeem them.
- Show up with the tickets you’ve been sent via email and skip the lines!
Still having troubles? Get at me in the comments below.
A Few Exceptions
The following attractions can be accessed by showing passes on a smart phone: Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Aerobus, Bus Turistic, Teleferica del Montjuïc, all walking and bike tours, and flamenco shows.
The only thing you’ll need to pick up at a brick and mortar location is the Hola Bcn transport card.
This is done at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 of the airport or in Placa Catalunya between 8:30 and 20:30 at “Barcelona Turisme” windows. All pickup points are closed December 25th and January 1st.
Remember, the discount card can’t be used at ticket windows and is valid only online.
No Transport? No Worries
The Barcelona City Pass doesn’t technically include public transport but don’t worry.
You’ll get moving on the cheap as it gives you a 20% discount on the Hola BCN transport card.
Your prices for unlimited public transport end up looking like this:
- 48 hours:
- 72 hours:
- 96 hours:
- 120 hours:
That’s only €5.80 a day for unlimited rides on the metro, buses, trams, and funicular.
It’s also the only discount card that includes the super-quick Aerobus or the Girona airport bus – the others merely give you the overland train or bus options (slow and infrequent).
You can also use the included Bus Turistic as transport and not spend extra money – up to you.
Does the Online City Pass include public transport?
No, the only transport included is the 1 or 2 day Bus Turistic pass and your airport transfer with Aerobus.
Can I use the 20% discount to get an Hola Bcn transport card?
If I visit for 6 days and buy two Hola Bcns for 4 days and 2 days do I get discounts on both?
Do I have to pick anything up?
No, welcome to Barcelona attraction pass heaven! All tickets and discount codes are done online.
Do I absolutely have to select my visiting dates for Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell?
Yes, it’s fundamental for getting your tickets sent.
If I wasn’t asked for a visit date for Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell what do I do?
Send an email to [email protected] with your booking number and desired visit time.
For other attractions that require a date and time, can I select whatever I want?
I received the booking confirmation but didn’t get the tickets, what do I do?
Ticketbar promises to have all tickets emailed within 24 hours so if less than 24 hours have passed you’ll simply have to wait. In the odd case they don’t arrive within this period write to [email protected] with your booking number.
How long can I use the discount?
The discount is valid from the second you buy the pass until 5 days after your indicated arrival.
Can I use the discount code on any website?
No, discount codes can only be used through the links you’ll be provided in the email.
Can I use the discount code at ticket windows?
Do I have to visit all the attractions within 5 days of my arrival?
No, attractions can be visited at any time as long as tickets are purchased within 5 days of arrival.
Am I gonna save money with the City Pass?
If you use the Barcelona City Pass for only two more attractions, yes.
To skip the lines do I have to show my visitor pass?
No, in reality the pass is digital so there’s nothing to show. What allows you to skip the lines are the attraction tickets you’ve purchased with the pass.
Please Harass the Hell Outta Me in the Comments
I dunno about you but this is probably the best Barcelona discount pass in circulation at the moment: having everything booked from the comfort of home, skipping lines, and saving money… is there anything missing here?
If you’ve got any more questions about the Barcelona City Pass or anything else related to your holiday get at me in the comments below.
Finally, don’t be afraid to join the City Pass discussion in my new Facebook group called I’m Off to Barcelona – here you’re free to ask any questions, air out your grievances, chat with fellow travelers, and more – anything goes!
And for those who bought it, do tell me how it went 😉